RITA – Remote Internet Terminal Access

Posted November 2001

Imagine, you’re sitting at home, surfing the Internet, and you need to lookup a piece of data in your INFONETICS server back at the office. Of course, if you were at your office, you’d simply hit <ALT><F1> and your INFONET/PC session would launch and automatically log in to your INFONETICS server. If only you could do that from home.

Well, RITA now makes that possible. Remote Internet Terminal Access (RITA) is the newest, and most convenient way, to connect to your INFONETICS server, from ANYWHERE in the world, using a local Internet connection.

Other advantages of RITA include; Multiple users can be “RITA’d” into your server at the same time. In fact, the five standard INFONET/PC sessions can all be launched and used in the same convenient fashion as you’ve become accustomed to at work. Laptops with roaming Internet Access can connect and login from virtually anywhere, all for free using a local Internet connection. Even small branch operations (usually single-user) can now be connected through the Internet, eliminating the need for expensive dedicated leased phone lines.

At the main office, you’ll need full-time Internet Access setup with one of our popular Proxy Servers. This handy little device allows all the PCs within your office, and your INFONETICS server, to access the Internet through one connection. The Proxy Server, also known as a “Firewall” or “Router” will safely hide your network of PCs and INFONETICS server from external attacks from the Internet. Available connections include the typical 56K dial-up modem (usually $15/month, plus cost of telephone line), DSL (Digital Subscriber Line, approx $100/month) and Cable modems ($80-500/month). The key is to choose the fastest, yet most affordable connection technology that gives you full-time access. Full-time access is needed as you’ll want to be able to connect at any hour of the day or night, and your server needs to be on-line to take the call.

Your Internet connection will also require a publicly accessible “static IP address”. This may add an additional $8/month to your typical dial-up ISP account. DSL and Cable Modem connections generally include a Static IP Address. Within the Internet, an IP address is akin to your telephone number. Many dial-up Internet connections are given a new (or “Dynamic”) IP address each time the connection is established. Just like in the telephone world, it would be difficult to receive incoming phone calls if your phone number changed everytime it was used. So too in the Internet world, it’s difficult to connect to your server, if it’s IP address is subject to change. Hence, a “Static IP Addess” is one that doesn’t change over time.

The real brains are in R-I-T-A. We’ll create a small, discrete opening in your proxy server/firewall that will relay incoming terminal sessions from the Internet to your INFONETICS server. And, we’ll assist you in identifying all available login/passwords on your system, and implementing new, hard to break passwords for all legitimate users. These passwords of course are your only line of defense from external hacking attacks from the Internet. Worried about hard to remember passwords frustrating your legitimate users? Don’t be. We’ll also show you how to configure your INFONET/PC sessions to automatically login, thereby relieving users from that tedious process.

Your home PC will need to be loaded with a properly licensed copy of INFONET/PC (aka TinyTERM), and a local Internet connection. Your aforementioned “Static IP Address” will be programmed into the PC, along with your auto-login information. Then, sit back, hit <ALT><F1> and watch as your PC launches TinyTERM, connects to the Internet and then logs in to your INFONETICS server.

Note; the “I:” drive, also known as a Networked File Server is not available remotely through the Internet.

RITA does of course carry some security risks. Poorly administered login/passwords, especially in times of employee turnover, could expose your INFONETICS server to unauthorized users. Call us for a more thorough discussion of the benefits and risks as they pertain to your specific situation.